What does it take to be a leader?

Welcome to the first in a series of blog posts about what it means (and what it takes) to be a leader. In order to lead successfully, you need to know why you are a leader, and the value you bring to others. To help you to know this, you can create a Leadership Statement of Purpose.

This is a short phrase which reminds you why you’re a leader, reaffirms that you have what it takes to be successful, and focuses you on the impact you have on stakeholders across the organisation.

It’s made up of 3 elements:

  1. Your Unique Leadership Combination
  2. Your values
  3. Your impact on different stakeholders

Element 1: Your ULC
A Unique Leadership Combination is what makes you stand out from the crowd. It’s a combination of your knowledge, your experience, and the professional insights you can provide, which make you unique in the workplace from every other RSL and every other employee. Think back over your career to date and imagine you're putting together your CV for a leadership position. Ask yourself:

  • What knowledge have you gained that equips you to be a leader?
  • What experiences, either leading or being led, have helped to shape your leadership identity?
  • How can you provide insights that your team will find valuable?

Your ULC is your unique combination which makes you perfectly placed to execute your new role successfully, and reminds you why you got the job in the first place.

Element 2: Your values
Your values are what’s important to you in the workplace. These could be things such as action, clarity, inclusiveness, achievement, balance, and so on. All values are valid, and the more you live by your values in the workplace, the more authentic you appear to your team, your managers, and your peers.

Element 3: Your impact on different stakeholders
The impact you have on different stakeholders (including, but not limited to, the members of your team) is the positive experience people get by working for you. It’s the “this is what I want to give you” which you communicate to others and makes them want to work with you. Thinking about stakeholders beyond your team also helps to break down any silos that may exist, and increase collaboration across the organisation.

Keep a look out on the blog for the next installment, coming soon.


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